Research Services in Manufacturing

chemistoddAI and Robotics

Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Research Services

in Manufacturing




MALTA

Improvements in manufacturing
processes through advanced ICT
techniques





Key Experts:

Dr

Ernest
Cachia



Dr

John
Abela



Dr

Ing

Saviour

Zammit


Researchers:

Mr

Joseph
Bonello



Mr

Armand
Sciberras

Process 1


Automated
Optimisation of
Production Lines

Scheduling Problems


Scheduling problems are proven
to be a class of
very difficult
problems in computing


The project’s
aim was to create a bridge between
academia and industry


By finding common ground with respect to
terminology


By providing a tool to

automate
understanding

of
scheduling problems

using already available

data




Scheduling Framework


Extendible Framework for Scheduling


Modelling Production Lines using an
easy
-
to
-
use interface


Detection of hard sub
-
problems from
the given model


Feasible schedule generation with a
number of algorithms and heuristics


Architecture

Modelling

and Detection


Sometimes industry and academia refer to
the same concepts
differently


A Unified approach was developed for
dealing
with scheduling problems using
available
data


Our approach is based on a
graphical
representation


Modelling allows us to
find out


which
problems
require academic
attention


help us find existing
research

Optimisation


Providing a generic optimisation tool for diverse
production line is very difficult


The focus is
on
scheduling orders
, not
planning


Tools must be
adapted

for
individual production
lines


Suitable for
fast scheduling

and
“what
-
if”
analysis



Example in case of
machine breakdowns or
for configuration changes

Optimisation


Tools Provided


Optimisation of
Single Machine problems


Very common for SME manufacturers


Optimisation of
Job Shop Problems


Very common with Multi
-
Stage Production
Lines


Handling of
Parallel Sequences


When some sub tasks are done in
parallel to the main task to speed
up process (e.g. preparation of
basic components)


Handling to
setup time
between
different jobs


Machine
Reconfiguration


Support for
release dates
and
deadlines

Process 2


Automated QA
for Print Output

using Neural Networks

Automated Optical Inspection Motivation


Quality is a key factor in the selling price of
manufactured goods


Quality inspection is traditionally carried out by
human beings either:


At the end of the production line on each and every
item removing defective products (slow and
expensive)


Or, inspecting samples from a produced batch and
assessing a batch quality (defective products are left
in batch)


Although some automated off
-
the
-
shelf tools exist,
these are usually too general and fail to identify
certain defects

Defects


Missing or incorrectly placed components


Scratches and cracks


Print offset, missing/extra transfer of ink


Smudges and misalignment defects
caused by multiple printing on location

An Automated Inspection System


Reliable 24x7



Accurate



Fast



Consistent



Cheap


Automated Optical Inspection

Image

capturing

Image correction,
background
removal,
alignment,
segmentation

Further image
processing and
feature extraction

Data Input to
Classifier and other
QA tests

Output from
Classifier


Setting up the system


The system can be configured
to perform a number of QA
tests depending on the product
and type of defects



A product representation is built by the system
based on one or more of the
following


A
single product and some parameters


A number of defect free samples


Both defect free and defective samples


The two steps of AOI


System is split up into two main modules


Image Processing


Alignment


Background Removal


Segmentation


Inspection


Feature Selection


Colour Inclusion


OCR


Label location


Neural Networks (WISARDs)

Practical use of ICT in
Manufacturing


A Case Study





Testimonial:

Mr

Olaf Zahra



Toly

Products Malta


Toly

Products is
cosmetic packaging solution provider for the
beauty industry.


Toly

Products’ has been manufacturing in Malta for the past
40
years. Today the majority of corporate function are also
located her.


Our factory here (and in other countries) operate on lean
manufacturing principles. We manufacture only to order on
the date the product is required


We
produce between 1.5 to 2 million units per week


We have over 2,500 different live products

Process 1


Automated
Optimisation of
Production Lines

Research Benefit


Scheduling
is a
critical function:


Impacts
manufacturing efficiencies.


Impacts delivery and customer satisfaction


Impacts reputation if deadlines are
missed



Good scheduling requires


Skilled operators who know the processes well


Involvement of several key departments and functions/


Good regular feedback from the production floor.



Since 2008 this criticality has increased exponentially. In a
downturn, organisations try and release cash and in our industry
this was done by reducing stocks. As the market recovered the
new limits set on stockholding have been maintained. For an
upstream manufacturer this means shorter runs and more
frequent changeovers.


Major Challenges


A lean manufacturing set up requires components to be
continuously in motion from the beginning to end of the process to
avoid bottlenecks and the build up of stocks. It also requires
materials to be delivered to the production floor when and as
required.



A
large variety of products for different clients


A bewildering combination of mould tools and moulding
machines that need
to be configured

for different
jobs


Finding a good balance between technical and human
constraints and meeting client demand


Delivering to the customer On Time and In Full.


The
aim is to


Minimisation of downtime


Minimisation of work
in progress


Maximising resource utilisation

Exploring
Possibilities


Achieving better
results while maintaining
a
flexible manufacturing environment


Explore different possibilities of
allocating resources to manufacturing


Gain
future insight
to help sales and
marketing personnel plan orders


Work around scenario changes in cases
of
schedule disruptions
(e.g. urgent
jobs)

Achieving the target


Having several scheduling possibilities allows for
more accurate planning.


Functions have better visibility of the tasks they
are required to perform to service the plan.


Minimising job changeovers reduces delays
and
maximises overall plant efficiency


Benefits


Some of the benefits offered by the
system


Effective planning tool


New
approach to
scheduling


Cost Effective


Fast Results


Configurable


Low training requirements


Uses information we already have and know
about

Process 2


Automated QA
for Print Output

using Neural Networks

Visual Inspection
at
Toly


Production of
luxury

cosmetic packaging
for
the
beauty industry.


Visual quality is of utter importance


Even
using state of the art machinery
there are a
multitude of parameters therefore variation is a fact of
life. Inspection needs to identify this variation before it
exceeds the permissible tolerance so that defectives
are avoided and the process can quickly be brought
back in line.


Visual defects consist of


Bad Printing (location, missing/extra ink)


Incorrect
assembly.


Scratches, cracks or smudges


Challenges in the inspection process

Currently visual inspection is carried our in one of two ways


Manual Inspection


Advantages


The inspector can identify and classify small variations from product to product
and take a call; i.e. is flexible


Drawbacks


Tedious


Inconsistent


Slow


Inaccurate


Current (at
Toly
) camera based automated inspection technology


Advantages


Accurate


Consistent


Fast


Drawbacks


Limited application.


Inflexible; it works with strictly defined parameters therefore typically will reject
numerous good parts with the bad parts

Using the
system


The system is configured with few
parameters and provided with a number of
defect free
products.


System then trains and builds a
multi
-
layered model
for that particular
product.


The model is saved and used every time
that the corresponding product is
manufactured avoiding the need of
reconfiguration

Benefits of the
system?


The system is
able to identify defects on our
products from several
good
and several

bad
images. Therefore it builds up a memory of
good parts which allow it to widen it’s
tolerances over traditional systems.


It is applicable to a wide range of
products
and also a wide range of defect possibilities.


Easy to set up and easy to update once a
new defect has been encountered.

Summing it all up


The system is preferred over manual
inspection


Reliable


Avoids manual contact of the product


More accurate


Faster


Consistent








Thank you for

listening